Infrared plasmons propagate through a hyperbolic nodal metal


Metals are canonical plasmonic media at infrared and optical wavelengths, allowing one to guide and manipulate light at the nanoscale. A special form of optical waveguiding is afforded by highly anisotropic crystals revealing the opposite signs of the dielectric functions along orthogonal directions. These media are classified as hyperbolic and include crystalline insulators, semiconductors, and artificial metamaterials. Layered anisotropic metals are also anticipated to support hyperbolic waveguiding. However, this behavior remains elusive, primarily because interband losses arrest the propagation of infrared modes. Here, we report on the observation of propagating hyperbolic waves in a prototypical layered nodal-line semimetal ZrSiSe. The observed waveguiding originates from polaritonic hybridization between near-infrared light and nodal-line plasmons. Unique nodal electronic structures simultaneously suppress interband loss and boost the plasmonic response, ultimately enabling the propagation of infrared modes through the bulk of the crystal.

Science Advances
Umberto De Giovannini
Umberto De Giovannini
Assistant Professor